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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Erlotinib and bevacizumab have synergistic activity against melanoma.

PURPOSE: Melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer with currently no chance of cure once the disease has spread to distant sites. Therapeutic options for advanced stage III and IV are very limited, mainly palliative, and show response in only approximately 20% of all cases. The presented preclinical study was done to investigate the influence of a combined treatment of the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib and the vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody bevacizumab in melanoma. Experimental Design and RESULTS: The epidermal growth factor receptor was expressed in all cell lines tested, and treatment with erlotinib did inhibit the activation of the MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and AKT signaling pathways. Whereas in vitro no influence on tumor cell proliferation was seen with erlotinib or bevacizumab monotherapy, a decreased invasive potential on erlotinib treatment in a three-dimensional Matrigel assay was observed. Furthermore, both drugs inhibited proliferation and sprouting of endothelial cells. In vivo, in a severe combined immunodeficient mouse xenotransplantation model, reduction in tumor volume under combined treatment with erlotinib and bevacizumab was superior to the additive effect of both single agents. This was associated with reduced cell proliferation, increased apoptosis, and a reduction in tumor angiogenesis compared with control or single treatment groups. Likewise, the reduction in the extent of lymph node and lung metastasis was most pronounced in animals treated with both drugs. CONCLUSION: The presented data strongly support the use of a combination of erlotinib and bevacizumab as a novel treatment regimen for metastatic melanoma.[1]


  1. Erlotinib and bevacizumab have synergistic activity against melanoma. Schicher, N., Paulitschke, V., Swoboda, A., Kunstfeld, R., Loewe, R., Pilarski, P., Pehamberger, H., Hoeller, C. Clin. Cancer Res. (2009) [Pubmed]
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